Estate planning is important to everyone. None of us really know how long we will live. At every stage of life, past the age of 18, your will you should be either created, if you don’t have one, or it should be reviewed with your attorney.
What is a Will?
Basically a will is a legally binding article in which you express your wishes upon your death. This may include assets, funeral wishes, or guardianship of minors among other things specific to your needs. Generally speaking most, most states have laws with regards to how your assets are divvied up among your heirs, should you expire not having a will. The state’s determination may be completely contradictory to your wishes, so you should consider creating a will.
Why do I need to make a will?
Essentially everyone should have a will except minors of course. Whenever you experience a life change, a marriage, divorce, birth, retirement for example, your will needs to be reviewed with your attorney. You may want to change the executor of a will, or create a living will or trust.
Those who truly need a will:
- If you have minor children. You should write a will in order to appoint guardians for your minor children, and trustees to manage their property.
- If you have no children. In some states, those who pass without a will, the state grants the living spouse mostly everything, but in some states the family, parents, and siblings also receive consideration.
- If you have a large family. All of your heirs will become co-owners of every asset you own upon your death. With a will, you could leave specific assets to specific heirs, or put one heir in charge as trustee for the others. Either way, writing a will would save your heirs significant hassle and expense. For some families, having to follow a will is also a more peaceful process than the feud
that can ensue.
- If you own real estate. In the absence of a will, real estate is likely to be inherited by numerous co-owners. In which case, all the co-owners must all agree on the sale of the real estate, as well
as they are responsible for any property taxes and the management of the property.
Family Law in Pennsylvania is not any less complicated than other states. There are specific laws that deal with those who pass without having a will. It’s important to talk with an attorney to ensure that your wishes are carried out. The attorneys at Knight and Moskow can provide you with the guidance you need to construct a will, trust, power of attorney, a health proxy or any other type of family law need you are facing. Contact us and discuss your needs.